|Project by riverguy||posted 10-04-2012 05:41 PM||1749 views||17 times favorited||13 comments|
Here’s one of my fine-woods and art-glass lamps, along with some pics of what goes into making it. Getting the wiring to the light socket in one of these lamps is always a fun challenge. The electric wire actually snakes up through the black-lacquered post, then out through the cross-brace and across inside the long support and finally up to the lamp socket.
The dramatic wood in the base is Hawaiian curly Koa, the nearly-black wood is African Wenge, and the structural parts of the frames that hold the glass are made of eucalyptus, chose for its strength. It’s actually cut from 60 year old flooring I salvaged from an old house in Hawaii!
The posts are made of African Mahogany, chosen because it is easy to work into these kinds of shapes. All of my lamps are finished with Deft brushing lacquer, sprayed at low pressure. Since I’m basically lazy and don’t like to spend hours with many coats of hand-rubbed finishes, I use this process exclusively: Sand to 220, spray two coats thinned no more than 10%, let dry an hour and then sand lightly again with 220 to remove any nibs and dust. Then one more coat, thinned another 10%. When that dries, it already looks great, but II go over each piece with a soft cloth and fine automotive polishing compound (like a “cleaner wax) and then I’m done. The black lacquer is applied and finished in the same manner, but requires a few more coats to fill the grain of the soft mahogany. I like to avoid the occasional problems one gets when applying different substrates, so I never use fillers. My first coat of lacquer is the filler.
These are fun projects, since I never do the same one twice. That means a lot of time goes into each because of all the setups that need to be done. I sell most of them through galleries. I’ve had friends “advise” me that I could certainly earn more per hour by doing other things in my wood shop, but y’know, I feel very lucky that I get to work doing something I really love doing, even if it’s largely a labor of love. And I’d bet that in this woodworker’s community, that notion is easy to recognize!
-- Skip, Forestville, CA, http://www.retro-industrial-chic.com